Junpei Manaka sneaks up to the roof to see the sunset. When he opens the door, he startles a mysterious beauty. She panics and runs away, but not before Junpei has caught sight of her adorable strawberry print panties...in EXTREME close-up. With that vision forever burned into his memory, Junpei embarks on a quest to find the girl, and the panties, of his dreams!
Ichigo 100% was published in English as Strawberry 100% by VIZ Media under the Shonen Jump Advanced imprint from July 3, 2007 to October 5, 2010; it was dropped after volume 14. The series was also published in Brazilian Portuguese as 100% Morango by Panini Comics under the Planet Manga imprint from April 2010 to April 2013.
Ichigo 100% is what you can call a classic Shounen, Harem, Ecchi, Romantic, Comedy manga having the typical set-up of, one "loser-kun" (Manaka Junpei) surrounded by gorgeous girls. It’s pretty easy to find this manga annoying, due to the dragged out storyline and loser protagonist but it’s just as easy to find it rather enjoyable, from the various potential relationships involved.
The story starts of with our protagonist somehow ending up with the hottest girl in the school and this being a Shounen Rom/Com makes it acceptable. Now with the dumbest thing taken care of, from this point on the reader can enjoy a really long
manga full of clichés. Some points in the story are really dragged out, with no progression whatsoever, but the various themes (aspirations, movies, etc.) are what give Ichigo 100% a refreshing feel. The romantic element of the manga is pretty well done because the relationships the protagonist gets himself into are all different and somewhat believable (well half of them at least). One thing to enjoy about Ichigo 100% is how well it promotes speculation, because it isn’t certain who the indecisive protagonist would end up with.
When looking in the artwork it’s easy to see how average it looks in the beginning. Although as the manga progresses, so does the artwork, with some great character close-ups. Like in most Rom/Coms all the detail is put into the female character designs, which is really good when looking at their individual features and how it matches their varying personalities. Nonetheless the guys aren’t as important, with not as much detail put into them, though at least the mangaka did a good job in expressing the character’s emotions. Shame this is an ecchi manga, littered with "panty shots".
Overall this ecchi manga doesn’t stand out because of its artwork or story but rather how enjoyable it is to read, being the only reason why anyone would read all 19 Volumes. The likable characters and romantic developments are all the more reasons to think of this as one of the best harem manga of all time; however all the unnecessary clichés and panty shots may turn some people of. Well I personally loved this, which is why overall I would give it 10/10.
When I first saw strawberries after reading Ichigo (Strawberry) 100%, I just had to laugh, remembering Manaka Junpei and his strawberry-ful problems. This is the longest and one of the first manga I have finished. First off, I have to say, the anime does not do the manga justice. The former may be more flashy, but it is ruined by bad artwork, seiyuu, soundtrack and overall portrayal. On the other hand, the latter might be less colorful, but it is fortified with good length, character designs, drama and romance. Definitely read the manga first; it has the complete story from the
author, Kawashita Mizuki, who did other works, such as Hatsukoi Limited., Lilim Kiss and Ane Doki. It should also be noted that the story changes over time.
A boy called Manaka Junpei likes to go to the roof of the school for a nice view. One day, though, he is surprised to be greeted by the shoe of a fallen girl. The wind blows the girl's middle-school uniform, revealing her strawberry panties. Embarrassed, she runs away screaming. Junpei is now fascinated with the strawberry-panties girl, wanting to film what just happened, as it would make a great scene. The problem is, he has no idea who that person was, being surprised that there was such a cute girl at school. After inspecting the roof, Junpei finds a notebook belonging to a girl named Toujou Aya, whom he discovers later to be in the same class as his. When Manaka meets her, however, it becomes highly improbable for the strawberry-panties girl to be plain, glasses-wearing Toujou. His friends, Oukusa and Komiyama Rikiya, convince the protagonist that there are not many cute girls in Izumizaka middle school, hence, there is only one person he could be searching for: School idol Nishino Tsukasa. Surprisingly, Manaka has no clue whom that girl is, annoying Komiyama, who is in love with her and talks about her all the time. As the two are fighting, Tsukasa overhears a little of what they said, and, after abruptly turning down Rikiya, she tells Junpei that she wears strawberry panties. After she lectures and leaves them, a depressed Komiyama forces Manaka to confess to Nishino, who is now presumed to be the girl on the roof. However, she is known to have rejected every guy that asked her to be his girlfriend. Will Manaka simply be the next in line to get shot down like his friend hopes . . .?
The pacing is not bad, and while at first it seems like the story will be about who is the girl with the strawberry panties, with a predictable ending of the protagonist finding out in the last few chapters, the author surprises us by revealing her identity, first to the readers and then to Manaka, early on, actually, avoiding the slice-of-life expectation. A lot of twists take place fast, and important characters are introduced steadily. Also, just as you start thinking that all girls fall for him, you will see one who hates his indecisive nature, another who only wants boyfriends that buy her presents, and so on.
The characters are funny and likeable; they are not shallow (at least later). Manaka Junpei has never told anyone, but his dream is to be able to make movies one day, so he intends to apply to Izumizaka high school, which is hard for him to do, as he heard they have a film studies club. Shy and quiet, Toujou Aya secretly writes novels that she does not show to anyone, and she plans on applying to the difficult-to-get-into Oumi's all-girl high school, which should be easy for her, as she is at the top of her third-year class; her personality is different around her little brother, though, who is in love with her. Popular Nishino Tsukasa likes to cook pastries, and has recently cut her hair. Oukusa is considered a handsome boy who is good at soccer (football); he has a secret crush on Tsukasa. Komiyama Rikiya is a perverted, large, strong man who looks like a monster and has no luck with girls. A sexy girl by the name of Kitaouji ("kita" means "north") Satsuki later appears, as she applies to the same high school as Manaka; she is feisty, energetic and likes to have fun. Junpei's childhood friend (najimi) is called Minamito ("minami" means "south") Yui, a childish girl who used to protect "crybaby" Manaka when he got bullied, but they have not seen each other in years since her family moved; she likes to sleep in the nude. Also, Amachi is a tall, good-looking guy, who feels obligated to help any girl in need, even if they do not want to. On the other hand, Hiroshi likes to take pictures of girls, especially in certain positions, and has a bit of a sister complex. His little sister is Misuzu, a hard-headed girl that likes to watch movies and give her criticizing opinions straightforwardly on the directing process. Chinami is a cute girl that likes to hustle guys for gifts. Much like Aya, Kozue is a girl that does not talk much, and is especially fearful of boys, except that she has dirty fantasies regarding them. Manaka's sensei in high school is a big-breasted woman who likes to get drunk, particularly when she gets dumped; she used to act with a now-well-known director.
The art is pretty good here, though at some angles, especially their profiles, the characters look similar, even to ones of a different gender. Nevertheless, the serious moments are left alone, without inappropriate faces (or jokes), which is the way it should be. They are done brilliantly, I might add. Ichigo 100% is the artist's most successful work for a reason.
A great manga that keeps getting interesting, Strawberry 100% is one that you do not want to miss up on. There are both funny and touching moments, as the main character tries to avoid hurting the girls that like him. This takes school adventures to a new level. Look forward to the school/filming trips these guys will have in high school, and Manaka's endless girl trouble.
"The War between Kita (the North) and Minami (the South)"
A simple yet daring sentence that sums up the situation of the start of Ichigo 100%. What more could a guy ask for?
Used panties in your face maybe. Something that almost happens in the beginning of the series because the girl didn’t take her panties off and is still wearing them. But hey, our hero is already having a nose bleed and couldn't be happier. But we can.
Ichigo 100% is a lengthy manga (for a romantic comedy) about Manaka Junpei who seeks the girl with strawberry panties. That is the whole point of the manga. At least in the beginning. Manaka sneaks
up to the rooftop of the school and finds a pretty girl falling flat on her face in front of his nose. And of course the first thing a boy does in that kind of situation which requires a great deal of self-respect, motivation to help and well trained hand-eye coordination is… staring at her panties. Strawberry panties specifically. The beautiful sunset which lights the panties up to be seen by the whole world, the gentle breeze which moves her skirt just enough to watch underneath and the intense eye-contact the two are having. No clichés are spared on this fateful encounter in the very first pages of the series. The girl then runs away and while Manaka was having the moment of his life, he now is in complete shock. Who is this mysterious girl? Why was she falling so hard on her face? How much does a pair of strawberry panties cost?
Number one: Ichigo 100% is a shounen manga. Number two: Kawashita Mizuki is the writer of the series. Number three: She’s a genius.
This may come out of nowhere and can be experienced as a total shock but the writer is indeed female. As a shounen manga, the protagonist is naturally male as the story has the point of view of males in mind. This is where Mizuki shines. She knows what she wants to tell in a story. She knows what the readers want to have in their stories. It’s no easy feat to achieve a high position in the popularity rankings of the magazine Shounen Jump if you’re making a romantic comedy. Ichigo 100% stands and will be standing for a long time as the classic ecchi manga. And this success can be explained in a couple of steps.
For starters, the eyes look beautiful. Now this is a small detail that is somewhat weird to mention but it’s actually a build-up for the whole art of Ichigo 100%. The drawings of the writer are amazing. It’s obvious that most of the time drawing is spent on the character’s face, starting with the eyes. None of the little details are forgotten. The size of the mouth which complements the situation at that time. The soft and hard strokes which make up the blushes.
And most importantly: the depth of the eyes. It can’t be stressed enough as this series proves how important it is how eyes are drawn. For example: two characters sitting in a fairly dark room with a small light bulb on and one of the characters is a bit sad. This is perfectly reflected in the eyes. The somber look gently drawn with carefully placed strokes, together with the reflection of the light bulb in the back of the iris. You have to see it in action. This is basically a whole new dimension of giving off emotion in manga. Something that only the talented drawers who understand emotional storytelling on paper can do.
But the one thing that truly is the major selling point of this series is the characters. At first, the characters look and feel very one-dimensional. Very little information is given about them and their history. Manaka is the average kid next door who gets lucky with the girls and can’t decide which one of them he wants and the panties-girl doesn’t hold a lot of depth in her personality either. To make matters worse: Ichigo 100% is a harem manga with four hot girls who would make any reader want to look no further than their bodies. Whether this is a good or a bad thing is up to you. But after a few dozen chapters, the manga changes. Something happens with the characters and the way they are presented. They slowly grow and become more likeable. None of them has dramatic histories but are believable characters with different experiences. And these experiences come together as the characters meet, greet, eat and talk together.
It’s progressive, it’s adventurous yet it’s so realistic. People fall in love in this manga and people get their hearts broken. People fall flat on their faces in this story but they keep on trying, never stopping to believe. It is the human feel what makes this story so darn well. They mature in body and mind, reflected in their relationships and even manner of talking. One hundred chapters further and every major character gained a whole dimension of depth and personality, making them completely different than when the story started. The author manages to give such a realistic reproduction of real-life relationships with all the pain, happiness, luck and work involved… on paper. And even if there are some half-naked bodies in scattered around in chapters, consider this as an extra. It’s only eye-candy in the beginning but manages to be of some value to the story later on.
And that brings me to the biggest drawback this series has. ''Later on''. This combination of words will be contained in almost every opinion of the people who’s read this manga. The beginning is so uninviting to read further. Most people will probably read a chapter or two in their spare time but won’t be running home from school or work to read the next chapter. Everything is calm in the first chapters. No big bangs, no major events—all but a preparation for the amazing storytelling AND character development later on.
Who could’ve guessed that one of the best harem mangas in a boys’ magazine would be written by a woman? The details of the drawings are amazing, especially the girls. One would then wonder where the writer gets the source material needed to do such details, and then finds out that the author is female and can get the source material by herself. But Ichigo 100% has something. Something that’s very hard to put your finger on. It has to do with the characters, they develop themselves so naturally that they automatically grow on you. Like a friend who you’ve known for a long time and can’t actually remember the time before the two of you met. It was already there. It’s like the characters are communicating directly to you and you understand in an instant what their situation is like and feel sorry for them. Feel happy for them and feel sad when the story ends. The series has its drawbacks like cliché ecchi moments and some tedious chapters in the beginning, but it’s all worth it for later on the manga—when the build-up of the beginning is showing its fruits.
Just like a real relationship.
The first few novels are pretty much a comedy romance, but as the manga progresses, the plot gets more serious, with all the girls getting more serious.
By the last two chapters, you are completely wrapped into the series, and are holding your breath until the very last page.
I'd have to say that I wish they modeled the anime after this series, instead of that romance comedy garbage, but what can you do?
Either way, I would really recommend reading this to the very end, because it is really, really worth reading all 166 chapters.
We love cute couples and following the development of their relative relationships in our favorite manga series. But let's turn up the heat, and see what happens when characters have more than a singular love interest. Let's enter the wild world of the harem manga!